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Organized People are Lazy!

Organized People are Lazy!

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    As a Professional Organizer and speaker, I am always joking around with audiences that I am an organized person because I am lazy. I don’t want to do things over again, waste time looking for things, or go out when I don’t need to leave my chair.

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    Upon analyzing this “laziness,” I have realized there are four main questions organized people are always asking themselves. Here are a few tips that will clarify and reinforce each of these concepts so you can start thinking like an organized person in your daily life.

    Question 1: How can I do this faster?
    Focus on saving steps. Busboys in restaurants save steps by using a plastic tub to gather dishes from multiple tables– a simple tool enables them to carry more than their hands could on their own. If you are going to run one errand, stop and think if there are others on your route you could do at the same time.

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    Question 2: How can I not do this at all?
    Delegate whenever possible. Look into outsourcing tasks whenever possible, as it makes sense for your budget. Tasks like oil changes, housecleaning, and car washes often make sense for most people.

    Go online for common tasks. You can print your own postage and arrange for a carrier pickup from the post office’s website, which means you don’t have to go to the post office. Shopping online means you won’t have to drive to the mall.

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    Think “low maintenance.” Don’t buy things that require a lot of upkeep. Remember, everything you own is something you need to maintain. Buy more dark-colored clothing for children to camouflage stains, and don’t buy white furniture or carpet.

    Question 3: How will I remember this later?
    Don’t reinvent the wheel. If you do something once, chances are you may need to do it again. Write it down and leave yourself a crumb trail. Capture it into a trusted system, such as your computer, your calendar, or your filing system, so you don’t have to re-create it later.

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    Question 4: How can I use my time better?
    Focus on one thing at a time. You might think of an organized person as juggling many things at once, but actually it’s been proven more efficient to handle things one at a time. This Wall Street Journal article discusses how managing two important mental tasks at once reduces the brainpower available for either task. So, while people think they are saving time by multitasking, they are actually doing both tasks ineffectively.

    Wait wisely. Waiting is almost always wasted time, unless you are prepared. Try to prevent this wasted time by going to places when they are less busy, such as shopping at off-peak hours. If you know you are going to wait somewhere, you can bring things with you to do while you wait. Even if all you do is bring your own reading material, it is so much better to read your own things instead of the 2-year-old magazines they have in most waiting rooms.

    Most of these tips amount to simply placing a high value on your time. Peter Drucker said, “Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed.” If you resolve to place the highest value on your time, organization will soon follow.

    Lorie Marrero is a Professional Organizer and creator of The Clutter Diet, an innovative, affordable online program for home organization. Lorie’s site helps members lose “Clutter-Pounds” from their home by providing online access to her team of organizers. Lorie writes something useful, funny, interesting, and/or insanely practical every few days or so in The Clutter Diet Blog. She lives in Austin, TX, where her company has provided hands-on organizing services to clients since 2000.

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    Last Updated on November 5, 2019

    How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

    How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

    Assuming the public school system didn’t crush your soul, learning is a great activity. It expands your viewpoint. It gives you new knowledge you can use to improve your life. It is important for your personal growth. Even if you discount the worldly benefits, the act of learning can be a source of enjoyment.

    “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

    But in a busy world, it can often be hard to fit in time to learn anything that isn’t essential. The only things learned are those that need to be. Everything beyond that is considered frivolous. Even those who do appreciate the practice of lifelong learning, can find it difficult to make the effort.

    Here are some tips for installing the habit of continuous learning:

    1. Always Have a Book

    It doesn’t matter if it takes you a year or a week to read a book. Always strive to have a book that you are reading through, and take it with you so you can read it when you have time.

    Just by shaving off a few minutes in-between activities in my day I can read about a book per week. That’s at least fifty each year.

    2. Keep a “To-Learn” List

    We all have to-do lists. These are the tasks we need to accomplish. Try to also have a “to-learn” list. On it you can write ideas for new areas of study.

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    Maybe you would like to take up a new language, learn a skill or read the collective works of Shakespeare. Whatever motivates you, write it down.

    3. Get More Intellectual Friends

    Start spending more time with people who think. Not just people who are smart, but people who actually invest much of their time in learning new skills. Their habits will rub off on you.

    Even better, they will probably share some of their knowledge with you.

    4. Guided Thinking

    Albert Einstein once said,

    “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

    Simply studying the wisdom of others isn’t enough, you have to think through ideas yourself. Spend time journaling, meditating or contemplating over ideas you have learned.

    5. Put it Into Practice

    Skill based learning is useless if it isn’t applied. Reading a book on C++ isn’t the same thing as writing a program. Studying painting isn’t the same as picking up a brush.

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    If your knowledge can be applied, put it into practice.

    In this information age, we’re all exposed to a lot of information, it’s important to re-learn how to learn so as to put the knowledge into practice.

    6. Teach Others

    You learn what you teach. If you have an outlet of communicating ideas to others, you are more likely to solidify that learning.

    Start a blog, mentor someone or even discuss ideas with a friend.

    7. Clean Your Input

    Some forms of learning are easy to digest, but often lack substance.

    I make a point of regularly cleaning out my feed reader for blogs I subscribe to. Great blogs can be a powerful source of new ideas. But every few months, I realize I’m collecting posts from blogs that I am simply skimming.

    Every few months, purify your input to save time and focus on what counts.

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    8. Learn in Groups

    Lifelong learning doesn’t mean condemning yourself to a stack of dusty textbooks. Join organizations that teach skills.

    Workshops and group learning events can make educating yourself a fun, social experience.

    9. Unlearn Assumptions

    You can’t add water to a full cup. I always try to maintain a distance away from any idea. Too many convictions simply mean too few paths for new ideas.

    Actively seek out information that contradicts your worldview.

    Our minds can’t be trusted, but this is what we can do about it to be wiser.

    10. Find Jobs that Encourage Learning

    Pick a career that encourages continual learning. If you are in a job that doesn’t have much intellectual freedom, consider switching to one that does.

    Don’t spend forty hours of your week in a job that doesn’t challenge you.

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    11. Start a Project

    Set out to do something you don’t know how. Forced learning in this way can be fun and challenging.

    If you don’t know anything about computers, try building one. If you consider yourself a horrible artist, try a painting.

    12. Follow Your Intuition

    Lifelong learning is like wandering through the wilderness. You can’t be sure what to expect and there isn’t always an end goal in mind.

    Letting your intuition guide you can make self-education more enjoyable. Most of our lives have been broken down to completely logical decisions, that making choices on a whim has been stamped out.

    13. The Morning Fifteen

    Productive people always wake up early. Use the first fifteen minutes of your morning as a period for education.

    If you find yourself too groggy, you might want to wait a short time. Just don’t put it off later in the day where urgent activities will push it out of the way.

    14. Reap the Rewards

    Learn information you can use. Understanding the basics of programming allows me to handle projects that other people would require outside help. Meeting a situation that makes use of your educational efforts can be a source of pride.

    15. Make Learning a Priority

    Few external forces are going to persuade you to learn. The desire has to come from within. Once you decide you want to make lifelong learning a habit, it is up to you to make it a priority in your life.

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    Featured photo credit: Paul Schafer via unsplash.com

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